It's no secret that I have a problem with the Disney Store, specifically the online site, which embraces the stark gender binary that certain products are for boys and others are for girls. As a girl who had to go into the boy section in stores as a kid to find a Simba tee because he was my favorite character, that left a big impression on me. Some may be okay with this, and that's fine, but I'm more of an advocate for a more neutral stance on what is "for boys" and what is "for girls."
But even more important to me are the messages associated with these gender stereotypes. Take today's email subject line as an example:
Once more, I understand there is typically a difference in children's choice in Halloween costumes to fit their gender. But the message that the girls are only there to play but the real heroes are the boys is what I have a problem with.
Along the same lines is another example I've been wanting to post for some time. The Disney On Ice show "Princesses and Heroes" also implies that these two are different and that the princesses themselves can't be heroes. If you have any doubt you can just read the description of the show on the website.
I have not personally seen this show, but from the description I'd anticipate more passivity in store for the princesses while the real heroes are the males. Prince Eric breaks the spell, Prince Philip defeats Maleficent, etc. The women are either saved or get to have their dreams come true. This ignores the fact that many of these princesses were quite active in their stories. For example, Ariel didn't just sit there and wish to become a human. She went out and got what she wanted, and when it seemed like her plans were falling apart she did something about that too.
It all just comes across as Disney wanting to ignore the accomplishments and strengths of women and emphasize those of men, and that's just not something they should be doing. The world is moving on - it would be refreshing if one of the most influential companies in the world could do the same, instead of promoting antiquated ideas for the sake of the dollar.